Breaking News: Deborah James podcaster and cancer campaigner passes away aged 40

BREAKING NEWS: Deborah James podcaster and cancer campaigner passes away aged 40

Deborah James, the podcaster and cancer campaigner who shared her life with bowel cancer passed away at the age of 40.

James, who will be remembered for her courage and strength during her battle with the disease, raised an extraordinary amount for charity through her frank and open discussions about the disease and living with a death sentence.

Today June 28 her family announced that she had finally passed away.

James, achieved fame as the driving force behind the BBC podcast You, Me and The Big C, after she broke the news of her diagnosis to her social media followers. During her time with the disease, she completed her second book, raised millions for charity and gave everyone hope with her cheerfulness and resolution that stayed with her until the end.

The 40-year-old, who was visited in her home by Prince William and Kate, told her faithful followers: “I am not brave – I am not dignified going towards my death – I am simply a scared girl who is doing something she has no choice in but I know I am grateful for the life that I have had.”

Despite the prognosis and the acceptance that she would not live for much longer, she continued to provide regular updates providing people not only with insight into the disease but also what those who live with someone in her situation could do to make their last months and years, ones to remember.

Her second book How To Live When You Could Be Dead, topped the Amazon bestsellers’ list and rose to number one through pre-orders. The news of her death has also resulted in a surge of donations pushing her fund over the £6 (€6.9 million) million mark.

In her final months, Deborah James was made a Dame for her fundraising efforts with Prince William visiting her home to do the honours, something she said she was “utterly honoured” with.  

Diagnosed with cancer in 2016, James started a daily blog that resulted in her 700,000 Instagram followers with her daily podcasts providing up-to-date information on her treatments. She also shared unreserved details about her progress and diagnosis.

James who moved to her parent’s home told the BBC that it meant her family home in London could remain home for her children without the “medical equipment scars” in their memories.

Expressing that she had “no regrets” James told the BBC that sharing the information had given purpose to her life and that while the journey had been heart-breaking, it has been made easier by the love she had enjoyed.

The former deputy headteacher said:  “I do not want to die – I can’t get my head around the idea that I will not see my kids’ weddings or see them grow up – that I will no longer be a part of life that I love so much.”

James is survived by two children, Hugo, 14, and Eloise, 12, and her husband Sebastian Bowen.

Every now and again someone special comes along and Deborah James was just that person, her podcasts and cancer campaigning bringing joy and hope to many others.


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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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